Super Smash Bros. Melee

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Super Smash Bros. Melee is a video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube video game system. This game is the sequel to Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. It is rated T (Teen) for comic mischief and mild violence by the ESRB.

Premise

This is a fanciful fighting game for 1-4 players, simultaneous. A young boy grabs his action figures and battles them against each other in his imagination. The players play as one of 14 characters (11 more unlockable), all from popular Nintendo games. The battles take place in one of 16 stages (13 more unlockable) modeled after iconic locations found in popular Nintendo games.

Gameplay

There are a lot of different modes and variations in this game. Controls are simple, with the A button for normal attacks and the B for special attacks, combined with directions on the control stick. Characters' moves are representative of the video game they come from.

In single player mode, the player can choose to play through a story mode, or fight battles against the computer. In multiplayer mode, players all fight battles. Up to four combatants can battle at once, with additional slots empty or filled by computer-controlled characters. Players can choose to fight against each other or assign teams. The game is set up for quick, 3 minute battles but is customizable to an almost infinite degree. Rules for victory conditions, battle length, frequency of items, whether the winner or loser gets to pick the stage for the next battle, handicaps, and more are all settings. During the fight, items drop from the sky. Some are items from Nintendo games and others are not. Food also drops from the sky.

In addition to the main game modes, there are also opportunities to collect “trophies”. Adventure mode has trophies scattered throughout, and any time some one taps the control stick quickly, credit is earned towards a coin. Coins can be used to purchase random trophies from the trophy lottery. Each trophy is a 3D model and can be examined, plus each has a description. There are approximately 290 trophies to collect, each representing characters, places, and items from the last 30 years of Nintendo's gaming history.

Playability

This game is very simple to learn and very fast-paced. It is a lot of fun to play by oneself but a real blast to play with others. The action is comical enough that it is enjoyable to watch without playing, although it can be hard to follow what is going on, especially with four human players. The game is set up to easily facilitate tournaments and competitions, with all stats for each player being tracked, plus a humorous list of awards given after each battle, based on the actions each player takes.

This is a good game to play with young friends, and is also a good group activity for boys. The rules are customizable enough that the game stays fresh and different skill levels can be accounted for with handicaps.